Photo via LA Times
The current record-high unemployment rates make it difficult to see the successes of the stimulus bill that Obama signed into law to boost the flagging economy. That some 10% of Americans are unemployed does make it tough to swallow the fact that to a large extent, the stimulus has worked. Most economists agree that it has prevented the recession from falling into a depression, and has served to steady the US economy. And a new report gives further evidence to confirm this fact: 900,000 green jobs are en route to being created by the stimulus bill. And that's a conservative estimate. The evaluation was completed by Vice President Joe Biden, and reveals some encouraging things about the future of a clean energy economy in the US. Grist reports:
Biden determined that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and administrative actions are "laying the foundation for a clean energy economy that will create a new generation of jobs, reduce dependence on oil and enhance national security. "The Recovery Act investments of $80 billion for clean energy will produce as much as $150 billion in clean energy projects" due to leveraging private investment."That's eventually, when all the funds from the Recovery have been rolled out. Here's the amount of investment and number of jobs that have already been created now, or are currently being created:
The Report estimates that just three programs with $29 billion in spending will leverage an additional $52 billion in private investments and create nearly 900,000 jobs. This is would reduce the number of unemployed workers by 6 percent, and the lower the overall unemployment rate from 10 percent to 9.4 percent.And as Grist notes, this is a conservative estimate--the report doesn't factor in "additional jobs from investments in advanced vehicles and batteries, energy efficiency--particularly weatherization of low income homes." With these included, the figure jumps to 1.4 million. Which is good news--it means green jobs, boosted by stimulus, will play a major role in getting our economy back on track.